Birth of a crystal filmed in atomic resolution (Iron)
From Emma Rayner on August 21st, 2020
The exact moment a crystal is formed from a previously scattered group of atoms has been captured on video in real time in a world-first experiment by experts in nanotechnology.
The scientists, led by the University of Nottingham School of Chemistry’s Professor Andrei Khlobystov and Professor Ute Kaiser, head of the Electron Microscopy of Materials Science in the University of Ulm, have used carbon nanotubes – atomically thin hollow cylinders of carbon just 1-2 nanometers wide – as miniature test tubes for atoms and molecules to record moving images at the atomic scale using transmission electron microscopy (TEM).
This video shows how Fe atoms were individually delivered to an initial seed of only two atoms using an ‘atomic injector’, until the cluster was large enough to crystallise.